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Home / News / “Scientist” doesn’t equal expert on LNG projects says UBC prof

“Scientist” doesn’t equal expert on LNG projects says UBC prof

Today is the last day to submit comments to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency’s draft report on the Petronas-back Pacific Northwest LNG project.

Both proponents and opponents have been mobilizing a letter writing campaign, asking people to get their voices heard before the submission deadline.

Earlier this week, over 130 scientists signed a letter asking federal Environment Minister, Katherine McKenna to reject the project.

But one person is raising concerns over the letter, and other letters of support or opposition.

Charles Menzies, who’s an anthropology professor at UBC and member of the Gitxaala First Nation, says many of the scientists who signed the opposition letter, don’t have the technical expertise to support the technical claims in the letter.

He says there’s a difference between making a political statement versus an expert statement.

He acknowledges the PNW project is dividing the Tsimshian community, and says the last thing that’s needed is outside influence trying to sway the community.

Menzies was asked to sign the letter, but declined because he says he doesn’t have the expertise as an anthropologist to back up the claims made in the letter.

Menzies says he is against the project.

His concerns are around fracking and its impact on northeast BC, and the socio-economic issues surrounding the project.

Menzies says while it’s up to the Tsimshian community to decide whether they want the project in their territory or not, it should be without hyperbolic statements from either side.

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